OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley traveled to the fast-developing northeastern region of Brazil in June to sign three agreements that establish some of the first in Oswego’s planned world-spanning network of global laboratories.
The network is a key component of the college’s new Possibility Scholarship program, which assists talented students in the sciences with tuition, room and board and provides hands-on research and international learning experiences. Four Possibility Scholars are due to enroll in the fall.
The agreements signed June 18 in a ceremony at the Alagoas governor’s palace in Maceio are with the Federal University of Alagoas, Federal University of Paraiba in Joao Pessoa and the state of Alagoas.
“What we embark on today has the potential to change the way that young scientists are educated and the way that challenging world problems are solved in the 21st century,” Stanley said at the signing ceremony. “These new partnerships will strengthen relationships between scientists from each of our nations for the purpose of developing the next generation of highly skilled, globally engaged scientists.”
The Federal University of Alagoas and Federal University of Paraiba in Joao Pessoa are research universities enrolling 16,000 and 26,000 students, respectively. The agreements with the universities will allow for student and faculty exchanges and research collaborations as well as the global laboratories.
The umbrella agreement with the state of Alagoas allows Oswego to enter partnerships with any university in the state. “The state-level agreement with Alagoas signifies their commitment to training global scientists prepared to meet the complex problems we face in our world,” said Dr. Lorrie Clemo, deputy to the president and chief of staff.
Present for the Alagoas signing in addition to Stanley were Mark Baum, chair of the development committee of the Oswego College Foundation board of directors; Clemo; Dr. Cleane Medeiros of Oswego’s biological sciences faculty; and about 30 Brazilian dignitaries, including the vice governor of the state of Alagoas and heads of the two universities.
Conversations with the Alagoas secretary of science, technology and innovation began last November when a delegation from SUNY Oswego visited several federal universities to examine laboratory facilities and the scope of research being conducted in Brazil.
“Impressed with what we saw and the enthusiasm expressed by Brazilian faculty and government officials, we selected several universities as sites for the global labs,” Clemo said.
Separately while in Brazil, Stanley signed a global laboratory agreement with the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sol, where Medeiros works with researchers charting the ecological future of the Pantanal region. Medeiros has led groups of Oswego students to this sensitive wetlands area for three years, giving them hands-on experience studying the region’s diverse flora and fauna.